Thank you for contacting me about 21st Century Fox’s proposed purchase of Sky.
As you are probably aware, Sky has stated that it received an approach from 21st Century Fox to acquire the 61 per cent share of Sky that it does not yet already own.
Under the powers set out in the Enterprise Act 2002, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has a quasi-judicial role that allows her to intervene on the basis of specified media public interest considerations. These considerations refer to the need for there to be a sufficient plurality of media ownership, for the availability of a wide range of high-quality broadcasting and for those with control of media enterprises to have a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards objectives.
On 3 March 2017 the European Commission confirmed that it had received formal notification of the proposed merger, following which the Secretary of State wrote to the parties informing them that she is minded to intervene on two public interest grounds – media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards objectives.
This letter does not constitute a final decision. The parties have been invited to make further representations, following which the Secretary of State will come to a final decision on whether to intervene and will aim to do so – in line with guidance – within ten working days of the merger being formally notified.
Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch.